The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
The main objective of the hearing is to debate the effectiveness and efficiency of EU policies for SMEs and gather valuable input and feedback from Italian stakeholders on the matter with a view to finding ways in which they can be improved. Particular emphasis will be put on the recommendations that have been outlined in the EESC opinion with the aim of implementing them at national level.
Issues such as access to finance, improving access to markets and internationalisation, promoting entrepreneurship, reducing the administrative burden, simplification, supporting SMEs' competitiveness and innovation will be at the forefront. The stakeholders are also invited to express their views on the current definition of SMEs and on its potential need for revision.